Brown Blog

Brown Blog

Color Theory and Websites – Lesson 1

August 5, 2008 No Comments by admin

Color Wheel

Color is one of the most important elements of web design. Here is a basic color wheel lesson to help you understand how we select the right color palette for your corporate website.

Primary Colors – Red, Yellow and Blue

Secondary Colors – Two primary colors mixed together. Orange, Green and Violet.

Tertiary (Intermediate) Colors – A primary and a secondary mixed together. Red-Orange, Yellow-Orange, Yellow-Green, Blue-Green, Blue-Violet, Red-Violet.

We refer to color as hue, and tinted or toned when we add white or gray to it. Adding black creates shades.

Color Wheel

Colors can take on aggressive qualities when warm and recessive when cool. In other words, yellow, orange and red can evoke strong emotional responses such as anger or energy, while the cooler blue, green and violet can relax and reassure.


Palettes are combinations of colors. We select palettes to give websites depth and interest. 

Monochromatic schemes use any shade, tint or tone of any single color.

Complimentary colors appear opposite each other on the color wheel such as orange and blue or yellow and violet.

Analogous palettes include colors that lie adjacent to each other on the color wheel. (green, blue-green, blue)

Applying different palettes to a single design concept can completely change the way to look is perceived.

More on color and how computer monitors effect them coming soon.

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